My daddy was a single father at 32 his wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer. For nearly seven years he raised an infant daughter and two young sons 5 and 3 years old while caring for his sick wife at home. When she passed, he wasn’t even 40. He was left alone with the children, his daughter just barely 7 years old. The son of an alcoholic, he was adamant that his children wouldn’t face such a life – so with help of his 76 year old mother he began his life as a single parent. While Daddy wasn’t a perfect man, he worked hard to raise his kids.
He worked for Eli Lilly as a draftsman, but he was also a little league coach, scout master and fixer upper too. At first, he couldn’t cook anything but bean soup…when Gramma would visit her sister for a week…we had a week’s worth of the soup (hot-cold and sandwiched – don’t ask!) However, he worked hard to learn to cook and before we were out of junior high his lasagna was renowned at church covered dish dinners and band banquets.
He was a church elder, Sunday school teacher and the man who showed us the importance of being a part of a church family. He showed forgiveness when we turned the broken swing set into a huge slingshot for apples (that got us into BIG trouble with neighbors). He showed grace when my brother came home carrying the only thing left of dad’s car he’d borrowed – a strip of side chrome was all that was left after the wreck!. he showed strength when we faced the death of our Gramma, the second mother in our life for us to lose. He meant quiet correction and unconditional love in our life.
My daddy’s children have grown to be his legacy. My older brother is a respected Geologist discovering oil around the world, married to his high school love for more than 45 years and a father and grandfather in his own right, my nieces and nephew are fantastic! My middle brother, a respected Psychologist married to a Psychologist for over 20 years, is raising two beautiful girls. I’ve been in ministry for my entire adult life and have raised two amazing young women as a single mom. Daddy’s kids have raised their own families, built careers and have made a difference in their world…and what father wouldn’t be proud of that as a resume!?
Daddy wasn’t a perfect man, but he was the best Daddy he knew to be. Thanks, Daddy!